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Soon It Might Be Possible To Finally Have A Nice ARM-Powered Linux Laptop

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  • #21
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post

    I'm not interested in who is convinced that it will work and what they told each other in their conferences. They made netbooks too (which "sold" because they were cheap but sucked balls on any metric and got a ton of flak and were eventually discontinued over that).
    Net boooks where just a bad idea. If we get a proper screen, keyboard and I/O the devices will lsell.
    The issue is and has always been applications (and the Windows store). If enough third party software developers actually care about providing software for ARM then it's going to fly, if not it's going to fail the same as Windows RT (and phone) did.
    Windows Store sucks for even i86 Windows. That will not be a success factor.
    And no OEM nor Microsoft have power over zillions of application developers. If Microsoft started pushing UWP applications seriously (aka MS-style, aka coercing) and the store took off somewhat I could see that, but I don't.
    I dont see MS as having the developer influence and guidance that you see with for example Apple and their developers. Maybe it is personal bias but to mee anyway it looks like Apple developers really get on board.

    the point here is that the MS developrr world isnt going to be a huge driver for ARM based laptops. The driver will be China in my opinion. Maybe Apple to some extent if the rumors about ARM based laptops become true there. Interestingly FOSS support on Apple current laptops is pretty good in that the have more than one well supported repository for FOSS. Just compare homebrew to anything similar on Windows.

    In any event if an ARM based laptop can launch with a basic Workstation distro support success is certain.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Vistaus View Post
      Oh, so Microsoft released Windows RT in 2012 with faux-ARM support?
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_RT
      Windows RT is not a full Windows 10 coupled with an x86 emulator.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by andyprough View Post
        Nice. Expensive. Fewer packages available. Slightly longer battery life (maybe). Lots of driver questions.

        Shut up and take my money.
        Actually my hope is significant longer battery life and frankly i dont care who builds it. One of the big problems i have with AMD or Intel based laptops is the terrible battery life. This especially if you try to do something demanding on these machines. I can remember watching a laptop loose 1% of the battery about every minute due to a compile running in back ground while watching a video in the fore ground. That really sucked.

        One thing that id like to see come is an ARM based laptop with built in solar power collection. Granted we arent to the point that we can run a machine off solar cellls yet but the supplemental power could certainly extend a batteries run time. Even a 100 milli amps would help out.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by wizard69 View Post
          Net boooks where just a bad idea. If we get a proper screen, keyboard and I/O the devices will lsell.
          First gen netbooks pretty sucked, those with a 800x480 screen but they were quickly replaced by better ones with 1024x600, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD and Windows XP. These sold a ton, although what just happened as a result is the price of full size laptops crashed and here we are today.

          Now eMMC is cheaper than hard drives so on current "netbooks" disk capacity went 5x to 10x lower compared to a decade ago
          Perhaps there would be a market for a high end netbook of sorts, as there is the Apple "Macbook" : PCIe SSD, good enough CPU, good screen quality, choice of 8GB or 16GB RAM. Now what if it could have a PC keyboard and more than one port.
          Needless to say I'll prefer 16GB even on a Snapdragon laptop - this'll be possible with 2x denser RAM chips. I find it funny to spend $500-$1000 on some great new stuff and be permanently stuck at an old 8GB like a rusting full ATX tower.

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          • #25
            If it is considerably cheaper than current laptops than it will work. I am very tired of current laptop lineup, quad core is still a "premium" feature and most laptops have metallic body and are so slim that prevents them having a big fat battery inside.

            I would buy a laptop with 7nm A76, 13-14 inch fullhd matte screen, ThinkPad like keyboard and trackpoint, 15+ hours of battery, full set of connectors, plastic body with ThinkPad construction quality for under $700.
            Tip to manufacturers: battery should be a controller + set of 18650 cells we could replace ourselves. Replacement batteries suck and manufacturers charge as if they were made of gold.

            Meanwhile I will keep using my 2011 ThinkPad x220.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by wizard69 View Post
              Actually my hope is significant longer battery life and frankly i dont care who builds it. One of the big problems i have with AMD or Intel based laptops is the terrible battery life. This especially if you try to do something demanding on these machines. I can remember watching a laptop loose 1% of the battery about every minute due to a compile running in back ground while watching a video in the fore ground. That really sucked.

              One thing that id like to see come is an ARM based laptop with built in solar power collection. Granted we arent to the point that we can run a machine off solar cellls yet but the supplemental power could certainly extend a batteries run time. Even a 100 milli amps would help out.
              Thinkpad T580 claims 27 hours battery life for $870. And will run all your software. How are you going to beat that kind of value with ARM?
              Last edited by andyprough; 06-14-2018, 01:38 PM.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
                Thank god for this. Finally ARM laptops will be modern!

                Why has it taken so long? Am I to believe from all the ARM hardware manufacturers out there, not a single one of them believes that an open ARM laptop will be successful? Did they not learn anything from when IBM released the "open" IBM-PC back in 1981? IBM dominated the market!

                Since with FOSS operating systems, whether you use Intel, Mips, POWER, ARM, etc, there is almost no difference to the user (some don't even notice), I think it is madness that anyone is hesitant. This is why I think it is more about control that companies have over us, rather than money at this point.

                Lets hope it wont be some "register interest" or "build to order booking" crud like the Pinebook.
                The market is too small, that's why the vendors don't care.

                One broadly applicable problem for hardware like this is a similar problem to what killed Valve's SteamOS Steam Machine products: if you know Linux well enough to be a potential market for the device, there's a spectacular chance you can more cheaply adapt other hardware. The launch Steam Machines were nice, but I could cobble together something performance equivalent for half the cost because of extra components I have. And this gadget will undoubtedly be nice too, but I can buy a used laptop with better specs on Ebay and install Linux myself.

                Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

                Oh, so Microsoft released Windows RT in 2012 with faux-ARM support?
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_RT
                And it died in the market due to poor sales because tens of thousands of existing Windows x86 applications were not available on it (and maybe also because the hardware was insufficient so the performance was poor, I don't remember). As -MacNuke- pointed out, the Qualcomm 845 has emulation for x86 applications and while it may lag a modern Intel mobile chip with a similar power draw it most likely blows the original Windows RT gadgets out of the water for performance.

                (Edit: Though admittedly the Windows 8/8.1 debacle almost certainly contributed a lot to the failure of Windows RT. Maybe a user interface better than Windows 8/8.1 and better naming would have saved the product. Windows 8 is a giant pile of evidence that a corporation can waste money as efficiently as a member of Congress.)

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                • #28
                  I think ARM laptops have a better chance this time. Maybe they'll only have Snapdragon CPU and nothing else (though NXP CPU is workable)

                  I'm not too worried if they don't pan out, for a while AMD has announced a CPU for 2019 : Zen 2, two cores/four threads, single channel, GPU with three CUs on 7nm.
                  Should be sort of like a Core-M but cheaper - just one chip not an assembly of CPU die and chipset - and maybe faster.
                  It should be possible to make a small laptop with a So-DIMM slot and an M2 slot, whereas Snapdragon (like modern Atom laptops) will have everything soldered.
                  Have 4GB soldered and a free So-DIMM slot -> plug a 16GB module in (made of new high density chips using less power) and there's 20GB RAM on a crappy laptop, beating $3000 Apples.

                  If Qualcomm makes a line of SoCs for laptops only hopefully they can support high RAM and So-DIMMs.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
                    Since with FOSS operating systems, whether you use Intel, Mips, POWER, ARM, etc, there is almost no difference to the user
                    unless he uses non-foss software. like games

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by enrico.tagliavini View Post
                      I basically don't trust ARM a whole lot
                      so you should be happy that snapdragons are produced by qualcomm, not by arm

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